Malaysian Universities Do Well in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subjects


Ranked #14 in the World, and Top in Malaysia for Hospitality & Leisure Management subject.

Ranked #301-350 for Business & Management Studies, and Top Private University in Malaysia for this subject.

Ranked #395 for the Broad Subject Area of Social Sciences and Management, and Top Private University in Malaysia for this Broad Subject Area.

STUDENTS looking for the best universities for specific fields of study should check out the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subjects.

The rankings, announced last week, lists the world’s top universities in individual areas, covering 48 subjects and five broad disciplinary tables; namely Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Life Sciences and Medicines, Natural Sciences, and Social Science and Management.

It provides students, policymakers, academic administrators, faculty and employers with a unique insight into the institutional performance of universities in the list.

Based on data from more than 1,200 universities across 78 countries evaluated, the insight drew responses of more than 83,000 academics worldwide and over 42,000 responses from employers worldwide through the QS Global Survey.

Apart from the survey, it was also based on other research citations and Elsevier’s Scopus research citation database.

Predictably, the United States and the United Kingdom were the two most dominant study destinations in this year’s ranking, with 28 and 13 number one rankings, respectively.

Harvard University came out tops for Accounting and Finance, Biological Sciences, and Business and Management Studies; while University of Oxford in Anthropology and Archaeology.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ranked first in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering and Computer Science and Information Systems.

At the regional level, the National Taiwan University led at number 15 among the Top 50 Asia universities followed by Japan’s Kyoto University (19) and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Chinese University of Hong Kong, both at 21.

QS research director Ben Sowter said “Malaysia placed 22nd globally for the number of university departments featured. A positive result for a young nation, which is competing on the world’s stage with countries boasting higher education systems established centuries ago.”

In total, 157 departments at Malaysian universities were ranked, with 76 departments recording a drop in rank this year.

Only 11 recorded improvement. The drop occurred primarily due to a decrease in employers satisfaction.

Besides Universiti Malaya, the other four most-ranked Malaysian universities are Universiti Sains Malaysia (placing in 25 subjects), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (25), Universiti Putra Malaysia (22) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (14).

This year’s rankings by subjects saw UM maintaining as one of the world’s leading universities by achieving Top 100 for three broad areas, Top 100 for 17 subjects and Top 50 for three subjects.

The three academic disciplines ranked within the Top 50 include Library and Information Science at number 31, Development Studies (38) and Electrical and Electronic Engineering (47).

In the broad subject areas ranking, Engineering and Technology is UM’s strongest field and is ranked at 38 with an overall score of 84.5. This was followed by Social Science and Management, with a rank of 55 and an overall score of 77.4.

Although UM’s academic and employer reputations indicators have dipped for some subjects, UM’s citation per paper and H-Index scores continues to increase.

UM’s vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Hashim emphasised that UM’s Strategic Plan needed to be relooked as improvements in teaching and learning required provision of high quality academic programmes in this Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 economy.

“UM is facing enormous challenges moving ahead, in view of the financial constraints. These challenges arising from the economic conditions means the university needs to find additional sources of funding and venture into income-generating activities to support its internationalisation efforts and to intensify research,” said Rahim.

Taylor’s University retains its position as the second-ranked university in Asia for Hospitality and Leisure Management this year after Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Its vice-chancellor and president, Professor Michael Driscoll, said this achievement was especially significant with the change in the employer reputation component for this subject.

“This year, there is an increase in the weightage of how the institution is viewed by employers. Our strong performance is indicative of how our students are viewed by industry players and proves to us that our approach is well-received by the industry.

“Taylor’s University scored highly for employer and academic reputation for the hospitality and leisure management subject. The excellent work put in by the strong academic team at the school, significant investment into research and the breadth of the school’s collaboration with more than 500 top hospitality partners have contributed towards our strong performance.

“We will continue to enhance our strengths; be it the innovative approach to teaching or our unparalleled relationship with the industry. This takes us another step closer to being a formidable force in the discipline globally.

“I’m pleased that we broke into Business and Management Studies subject, which is a first for Taylor’s University. We will look into how we can mirror the strong positive performance we have had in the Hospitality and Leisure Management subject, where we scored highly for both academic and employer reputation, in order to improve on our standing for the Business and Management Studies subject,” he said.

Only four Malaysian departments ranked among the top-50 in the world for subjects — six fewer than last year.

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